I Tried Jetblading for The First Time & Felt Like Iron (Wo)Man
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The newly-opened Ola Beach Club is the only place in Singapore to offer this uber cool watersport
Photos: Weekender/Ola Beach Club
Let’s be honest, the main reason I’d always yearned to try one of these water-propelled sports was how cool and incredible it looked.
With strong jets of water shooting out from the sides or feet, one can be lifted up to nine metres in the air — probably the closest you can come to being Iron Man in real life.
At the newly-opened lifestyle destination that is Ola Beach Club, adrenaline lovers can try a myriad of thrilling water sports operated by the experienced SeaBreeze Water Sports.
Once you’re up there, a whole new set of challenges await.
Jet Pack and Jetblade
Plus, they’re also the first in Asia to offer the Jet Pack, which, when securely harnessed to the user, enables one to fly through the air at a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour!
I opted instead to try the Jetblade, which was making its debut in Singapore.
Similar to the Jet Pack, the Jetblade is a water-propelled device akin to a hover board — very Back to the Future Part II, if you ask us!
As I’d tried wakeboarding on some occasions, strapping my feet into the boots secured to the board didn’t feel too foreign to me.
Keeping balance was no mean feat!
From swimming to flying
My trainer’s instructions were as systemic as they were clear.
I was to first learn to swim forward with my knees locked and body relaxed with a slight upward arch in the back; the water pressure from the jets beneath the board would propel me forward. I barely had to paddle with my hands at all!
In case you were wondering, the jets of water would come from a tube attached to a speedboat, on which the trainers would sit.
Once in the water, instructions are given through earphones built into the helmets we were wearing — very J.A.R.V.I.S, a la Tony Stark’s smart personal assistant.
By tilting my shoulders left or right, I was able to manoeuvre my direction in the water.
After swimming around for a bit, instructions came for me to move into the position in preparation for standing up in the water.
You can’t tell, but I was struggling to keep my toes from pointing downwards.
The falls and flights
Here’s where I fumbled for a bit, trying to bend my knees ever so slightly until my body came upright.
After a couple of face plants into the water, I was thankfully able to straighten my knees and stand.
And here’s where a whole new set of challenges emerged.
To balance in the upright position, I had to constantly ensure that my feet were in a neutral stance — neither tilted toe-side or heel-side.
At first, the strong water pressure from beneath my board kept propelling me in all directions, but I was soon able to stay still.
The trick? To keep my toes up, as they had a tendency to point downwards, hence causing my body to fall forward.
Got my First Officer Jetblade cert thanks to my top-notch trainers.
The verdict? Zipping through the air, propelled by nothing but strong water jets was very liberating, to say the least!
The unpleasant part? Getting used to falling into the water time and again. I’d be lying if I said the impact of falling face-first didn’t hurt.
Bragging rights aside, Jetblade was truly unlike any watersport I’d tried.
After getting the hang of stable flight, one can gradually learn all sorts of fancy tricks, from mid-air swivels to even flips.
Would I try it again? Absolutely!
Jetblade is priced from $228 for Cadet 45-minute package and $298 for First Officer 1-hour package. For subsequent visits, Jetblade sessions are priced at $80 for 15 minutes.
46 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa.
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